The Peace of Christ
Gracious God, our heavenly Father, Your mercy attends us all our days. Be our strength and support amid the wearisome changes of this world, and at life’s end grant us Your promised rest and the full joys of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Peace – It’s more than a feeling – it’s a state of being – a commodity many are willing to pay any price to obtain to achieve it. Where do we find this peace? Christ our Savior has promised to give us His abiding peace. As John has reminded us in his gospel, [Jesus said,] “peace I give you My peace I leave you not as the world gives it do I give to you.”
No wonder we pray in the collect for peace, “Give us that peace which the world simply cannot give.” In our Gospel lesson for today Jesus promises that His peace may be ours.
I. In this world there continues to be contention and strife. “Come unto Me all those who are carrying heavy burdens” (v.18)
A. We live in a fallen world outside of Eden. By definition this world is filled with contention and strife.
B. This contention was brought about by the devil that tempted Adam and Eve causing them to fall headlong into sin.
C. No matter what man attempts he cannot produce a lasting peace. If anything it will be temporary and fleeting.
D. Jesus says literally, I will ease, relieve, and refresh your souls.
a. That what happened on the first Pentecost. Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call." With many other words, he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Acts 2:38-40
b. That’s what happens every time you remember your baptism. Baptism now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 3:21
TRANSITION: Man as sinner by himself cannot find lasting peace. Only Christ has the sufficiency to give it.
II. Jesus offers true and lasting peace to all who would come to Him in faith.
A. “Take My yoke upon you.” To be yoked it to be teamed with Him. Thus the hymn writer will remind us, “Lord take Thy hand and lead me along life’s way…”
B. “I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus is both humble and gentle.
1. Gentle – He knows our needs, wants and fears. He deals with us according to our needs.
2. Humble – In being human He took on flesh and fulfilled the Law for us.
3. We find our rest in Christ. Isaiah the prophet foretold it a thousand years before Christ was born. Looking into the future, he saw the coming Chosen One and predicted Jesus suffering. Surely, he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
TRANSITION: Christ has the sufficiency to be our peace.
III. Jesus Christ alone is the source of our peace.
A. His yoke is easy.
1. Even a yoked team will have a dominant member. Joined to Christ in Baptism He leads you. The hymn writer suggests, Savior lead, I follow Thee…
2. His yoke is easy for He leads, directs, and feeds us from day to day.
3. His burden is easy because it is easy for Him to bear. Don’t worry about the weight and burden of your sin. Christ knows you can’t bear it alone! He has carried it all for you. What you could not do for yourself He has done for you completely and totally. So stop pretending and repent! You can fall flat on your face attempting to impress others or you can fall into the safe and sure hands of Jesus your Savior. Which will it be? Choose, but choose wisely.
B. His burden is light. For a purpose driven life? Possibly we haven’t still learned the difference between two words.
1. Do – Law – what to do, what not to do, how to live – a tendency to give us “morality”
2. Done – Gospel – What God in Christ has accomplished at the bloody cross and empty tomb.
Father, into Thy hands I commend myself… May Christ’s peace be yours this day.
Words – 830
Passive Sentences –8%
Readability – 83.7%
Reading Level -4.4
Collect from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. LouisImage Worthy is the Lamb copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things